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Two uncommon Shanchengs

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October 17, 2012 03:34PM
When I bought my Shanhua and Kunlun brand watches, I found a huge amount of information about the Chongqing Clock and Watch Factory in the World Bank publication Chinese Industrial Firms under Reform. The authors wrote that the factory produced experimental watches beginning in 1970, but full-scale production wasn't approved until 1977. When I read the passage, I remembered a watch I had seen for sale on Taobao.



I think it’s safe to say it dates to before 1977. The dial isn’t in great shape and the hands are mismatched, but to find a watch as uncommon as this one in any condition is good.



Could the 7001 number be related to the beginnings of watch production at the factory in 1970? The crown is unsigned. The SS1-style movement ticks at 18000 bph.



I bought another Shancheng out of sheer curiosity.



The seller said that the calendar mechanism is unique and posted a link to a thread in another forum. I don’t completely understand the translation, however. The date is adjusted by moving the hands between 10 PM and 12, but unlike other watches the date does not advance at 12, but at 10. When the watch runs, the date changes every 24 hours at 12 as it should.



The crown is signed with the Shancheng logo. I can’t see the photos in the forum thread anymore, but I remember that the movement looks different from mine.



The 17 zuan marking doesn’t agree with the curious 18 zuan on the dial. Under the balance is 8612 above another marking (letters?) that I can’t see because it is hidden by the balance wheel. None of the markings look like any I’ve seen on a Chongqing watch movement.

I wanted to learn more, so I went hunting for movement photos of Chongqing watches with calendar. Surprisingly they are very difficult to find, as most of them have no date. On Taobao, one Shancheng calendar model had a ZJS tongji from Shijiazhuang, and the other had an unidentified automatic movement. The only other photos I could find were of the one in the forum thread and my Shanhua with the Guangzhou tongji.

So far I haven't seen a Chongqing calendar watch with a movement I could positively identify as being made in Chongqing. Is it possible that a factory capable of manufacturing grade 1 watches had difficulties in producing a simple calendar function? I don’t have enough information yet, but it appears that there is at least an interesting story behind Chongqing calendar watches.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/2012 03:36PM by saskwatch.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

Two uncommon Shanchengs Jpeg Attachments URL

saskwatch486October 17, 2012 03:34PM

Awesome catches, Jon. The 7001 is a very rare item, especially...

Anonymous User238October 18, 2012 02:04AM

Re: Two uncommon Shanchengs

henry5010247October 18, 2012 01:37AM

Thank you for the very kind words Smile, but... URL

saskwatch189October 18, 2012 04:08PM

Jon is being kind; I assure you, many pieces in his sensational collection... Gif Attachments

Anonymous User189October 19, 2012 01:35AM



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